Warrick Women's Fund gives back at style show

Standard photo/Marisa Patwa

Model and Warrick County School Board member Stephanie Gerhardt showing off her outfit from Chico's at the Warrick Women’s Fund Day Style Show on Monday, April 29 at the Rolling Hills Country Club.

The annual Warrick Women's Fund Day Style Show took place on Monday and it was an afternoon of fine dining, high fashion and giving back.

The Community Foundation Women's Fund of Warrick County hosted the show at Rolling Hills Country Club in Newburgh and donated over $33,000 to local charities and organizations.

Of the nearly 25 grant applications received, eight finalists were chosen and honored with checks at the luncheon, including Holly Edmond with Holly's House to support the "Think First and Stay Safe" child abuse prevention program offered to students in Warrick County schools; Pam Kirk with Easter Seals to improve environments for Warrick County adults with significant disabilities; Shanna Smith with the Lynnville Summer League to support the installation of restrooms at the Lynnville Summer League Ballpark; Kelly Mitchell with SIRS to support transportation needs for individuals with disabilities in Warrick County; Colleen Talley with the Warrick County Museum to support the Warrick County Museum Third Grade Tour program; Dee Lewis with YWCA to support the iCook program for residents at the YWCA; to Travis Johnson with the United Methodist Youth Home to support the construction of a safe room in the new cottage serving at-risk girls; and John Phillips with food and clothing pantry Hope Central for the completion of their new home in Boonville.

Phillips said the grant means a great deal to the Warrick County poverty community they serve.

"This started last May when I got a phone call that we would have to move in 30 days out of the Industrial Arts building in Boonville and we have been on almost a sojourn almost since," he said. "We were lucky enough to find a new home at the old Hendrickson dealership on Highway 62 between Boonville and Chandler and we are in the process of putting the finishing touches on that now. And this $5,000 really puts us over the top, so thank you so much, it will allow us to get our cooler upright and order a new fridge."

In total, the Women's Fund has given away $157,695 to local agencies since they first began in 2009.

"Since the inception, we have also built an endowment of $360,000, which will provide annual support to Warrick County on a long term basis," said Colleen Martin, WWF advisory board member and grants committee chair. "After we are long gone, the Women's Fund will exist. We can be proud again of the time and talent that has been made by those involved in the Women's Fund."

Martin said thanks to a new partnership with the Lilly Endowment, the WWF has an opportunity to increase their own endowment through a matching gift.

"This year, every dollar given to the WWF endowment will be matched with an additional $2 -- that is a double match," she said. "For example, a $100 gift with a two to one match will translate to a $300 match in our endowment."

After the grants were awarded, attendees were treated to a fashion show, with local women from the community showing stylish outfits from Chico's.

Martin said she joined the Women's Fund because she wanted to be a part of something bigger than herself.

"It was an opportunity to make a lasting impact in a community I have grown to love," she said. "We have an opportunity to create something that will last long beyond us."

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